Posted 5th December 2012
My new boss has declared that “shy” clearly doesn’t feature in my vocabulary. That didn’t take long. And yet, I ummed and ahhd over the Madhur Jaffrey vid post for the best part of two weeks. Wondering if the fine art of self promotion was being stretched just a tad too far.
The thing had been on the telly, so on it went.
Frankly, I couldn’t believe the whole thing. Film editing is clearly a finer art than self promotion. The sprogs look like they’ve been dip-dyed in gold dust. My hair looks like something out of a Pantene ad. And the kitchen worktop is far from the oil-stained chipboard reality it was back then, painted a dusky grey in haste the day before filming.
Not to mention me bossing none other than Madhur Jaffrey in my own home.
The sad truth is that none of us are that spectacular. Most days are a blur of relentless meetings, the caffeine kicks to get the day started and the dash home to make sure I get to see the bundles before they crash for the night. To get through it all, I cook and eat good food. That means a bit of everything: Oriental, lots of pasta, British comfort cooking and, best of all for me, authentic Indian food.
The trick, to cooking Indian food, I have learnt is in a bit of planning and a bit of common sense. Both of which I generally struggle with. So on busy days, I:
I often find inspiration at the end of a long day with a quick look on the blogosphere on my way home. That’s how I found this sublime, tangy and spicy mushroom stir fry recipe with spicy coconut masala from Divya’s Easy Cooking and Vee’s Past, Present and Me that I chanced upon while searching for a decent way to use up some mushrooms and a bag of frozen shredded coconut. A quick stir fry, we scooped them up into torn chunks of readymade rotis for a mid week supper. With less chilli, it would have been great for the kids too.
So what are your tips to share for mid-week meals on busy days?
Wash the baby button mushrooms under a cold tap in a sieve and leave to drain. Peel and grate the ginger (unless you have a ready stash) and chop the onion into small pieces.
In a small food processor, mince the coconut, coriander seeds and whole red chillies. The coconut will have enough moisture for this to be a coarse masala.
Next, bring the flavourless oil to heat on high in a medium sized pan. Saute the onion and ginger for five minutes until golden, then add the mushrooms. Stir for another two to five minutes until they start taking on colour and releasing moisture. Then mix in the coconut masala. Fry well for another five minutes, you will notice the sharp aroma changing to a more mellow one.
Then mix in the tamarind paste, salt to taste and coconut oil if you have it. Serve immediately with toasted pitta bread, naan or rotis.